It sounds like a cliché, yet it’s true that being an MP is an incredible honour, and I want to take this opportunity publicly to congratulate my successor, Stewart McDonald, and to wish him well in the job.
In the last 14 years I’ve been given opportunities that few others get, not only to meet amazing people in the constituency and beyond, but also to help them. I suspect I will never again experience anything quite as fulfilling as being able to intervene on behalf of a constituent and to succeed in changing their life for the better.
Today I am heart-broken for my party at both UK and Scottish level. I can offer no particularly valuable insights as to the way forward for either of them – I will leave that to others.
Let me just say one thing by way of an attempt at political analysis: it’s (probably correctly) assumed that Scottish Labour has paid the price for its support for the No campaign in last year’s referendum. If that is indeed the case, then I have to conclude that it was a price that had to be paid. I and many Scottish Labour colleagues lost our jobs last night, and that’s to be regretted. But if we had lost the referendum, we would have lost our country, and that would have been far, far worse.
Thank you and good bye.
8 May 2015